IDC survey outlines critical investments for MSPs
In tandem with the widespread enterprise transition to the cloud, the managed cloud services market has become more competitive — and subsequently, the opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs) have become more complex.
In light of this, a recent IDC study examined the business requirements of MSPs and their business partners and outlined the opportunities they should invest in to optimise their competitive advantage.
“[MSPs should] provide a means of adapting their organisational structures to meet client needs; integrate professional services into managed cloud services; emphasise customer centricity; and work with cloud service provider partners to optimise market opportunities,” says IDC program vice president for outsourcing and managed cloud services David Tapper.
“In addition, they will need to invest in sustainable offerings for the socially conscious customer; create a business operations centre; incorporate an intelligent, unified multicloud management platform; implement a robust governance model; and build centres of excellence and labs for cloud platforms.
Here are the key investments for MSPs according to IDC's research:
Cloud strategy and business resilience
In the wake of the pandemic, organisations are looking to utilise public cloud capabilities, as well as innovative technologies and processes (IoT, edge computing, blockchain) and multicloud management platforms to support future cloud strategies and ensure business resilience.
While very few organisations have shifted all of their IT applications to the cloud, IDC's research found that firms will accelerate this shift over the coming years. The overall expected cost savings from managed cloud services in 2021 is 40%, up from 37% in 2019.
Buyers use managed cloud services to create more agile IT, drive new revenues, and improve customer experience. However, there are still concerns over ensuring service level agreements (SLAs) and security.
IDC found, however, that in general organisations plan to increase spending on these services significantly over the next 12-24 months.
Most firms prefer to work directly with an MSP to manage their public cloud provider to ensure better communications and that SLAs are met. At the same time, most organisations prefer using the management tools of each public cloud provider.
Advanced automated technologies
A significant share (about 40%) of firms are already using no-code/low-code capabilities as part of their managed cloud services, with another 30-35% planning to do so within the next two years. In utilising cognitive/AI as part of managed cloud services, enterprises are focused on more efficient IT operations and aligning consumption of IT with individual (role-based) needs.
Enterprises utilising managed cloud services consider CoEs (centres of excellence) as the most critical to ensure operational excellence, although centralised command centres and business units for public cloud providers are equally important in some sectors. Most organisations are also looking to public cloud providers to help reduce carbon emissions from their data centers.
Private, public, and hybrid clouds
While most organisations prefer to re-architect their existing IT assets into private clouds over buying prebuilt private clouds, they also overwhelmingly prefer to utilise public cloud services over private clouds to meet an array of needs (e.g., productivity, ROI, resource utilisation).
The role of the public cloud as part of a hybrid cloud strategy is to provide access to public IaaS cloud capabilities not available in private clouds and to meet the need for surges in demand.